Authorities in Germany say that Wolfsburg midfielder Junior Malanda was not wearing a seat belt when he was killed in a car accident, the Associated Press reports.
Malanda, 20, was declared dead at the scene on Saturday after he was ejected from a speeding SUV that the driver lost control of during heavy rain. The car skidded off a highway during a heavy rain storm near Bielefeld and flipped several times.
Both the driver and another passenger were injured, but have been released from the hospital, police said. One of the other occupants of the car was Anderlecht youth defender Anthony D’Alberto.
Malanda, a Belgian national, had played in 15 games for Wolfsburg this season, including 10 in Bundesliga play.
The BBC reported that Malanda was on his way to meet his team for a flight to South Africa for a training camp.
Police in Bielefeld said Monday they have opened a manslaughter probe after determining the vehicle was moving “at a speed unsuitable for the weather conditions.”
In 17 matches with Wolfsburg, Malanda had two goals and four assists after joining the club in January 2014. He had played for the reserve squad for the French club, Lille, from age 12 until joining Belgian Pro League club Zuite Waregem.
- Phil Watson